The rise of the automotive industry in China (especially concerning electric vehicles) and its impact at a global level were the main issues highlighted on the webinar promoted by ISTMA on 26 October. 'Chinese automotive acceleration: a new global normal? Emerging trends and the alignment of supply chains' was the topic of the event, addressed by Venkatramani Ramaswamy, from GF Machining Solutions (ISTMA Global Partner), and attended by professionals from 17 countries worldwide.

Venkatramani Ramaswamy referred that, given the enormous acceleration of the automotive industry in China, mould makers should focus on "differentiation and flexibility" in order to be more competitive and able to respond to the challenges of their customers: to do things faster and with quality. 

Compared to the rest of the world, the automotive industry in this country "has seen remarkable growth and development, with the creation of new models, especially in the area of new mobility", Venkatramani said, pointing out that in this area: "China has gained since the Covid pandemics and the war in Ukraine, having benefited from the cooling of the industry in other countries, especially in Europe, and boosting its faster and ever-increasing growth". This was due, in his view, to the fact that "it was much quicker to adapt to the changes".

Manufacturers have to be prepared for what he called 'the new global normal': a huge rise in the Chinese car market compared to the evolution of traditional brands. He emphasised that these brands "still have a low level of representation in the new mobility industry, especially the electric sector". What's more, "Chinese brands are competitive in terms of quality and price". China is succeeding in conquering markets for its models all over the world, with car sales growing to such an extent that "it has overtaken Germany in terms of car exports".

Faced with this 'new normal', he advised mouldmakers to focus on differentiation and flexibility in order to become more competitive, and to "look to China as an opportunity", since "its industry, given the expansion it is facing, will need solution providers in order to gain competitiveness and sustainability".

Technology and automation
On the other hand, it is also clear that Europe is beginning to show signs of revitalisation in its industry. In his opinion, companies in this geographical area can benefit from this, since "production in China has the associated cost of localisation, which is reflected above all in the issue of transport".

Another aspect he highlighted, showing the results of a study, was the fact that a significant proportion of car brands ensure that they favour sustainability over production costs. "Companies must focus on improving their processes, making them more sustainable," he said, adding that, it is essential to focus on technological development and automation.

It will be necessary to move towards "the new mobility", partnering with projects that can get products to market much quickly. "Reducing manufacturing time with technology and automation, reducing costs, but without compromising quality: that's the goal." To do this, "companies have to be alert to the new opportunities that arise".

GF Machining Solutions (ISTMA Global Partner) is a company dedicated to production of high-tech machines, automation solutions and services for various industries, especially moulds and dies, but also for the medical, aerospace, automotive, electronics, energy and packaging sectors. At a global level, it has more than 80 sites worldwide.